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China 'firmly supports' BRICS

( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-02-25 07:58:13

Q+A | Yang Jiechi

After Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visited Russia and South Africa, he talked to the media about the trips.

Q: How was your visit to South Africa? What is your view of China-Africa relations?

A: South Africa is a major developing country and emerging market. Over the past 15 years since China and South Africa established diplomatic ties, our bilateral relations, which have been elevated from a partnership to a strategic partnership and then to the current comprehensive strategic partnership, have produced fruitful results. During his visit to China last year, President Zuma and President Hu Jintao reached an important agreement on further growing China-South Africa relations. At present, this relationship enjoys new major opportunities for development. The two sides are working actively to implement the important agreement between our two presidents, further increase high-level exchanges and deepen pragmatic cooperation so as to ensure steady progress in the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and South Africa.

South Africa will host the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting at the end of March. President Zuma has invited the president of China to attend the meeting and pay a state visit to South Africa. My visit this time is mainly to make further preparations for this important visit.

During my visit, I met with the president and had talks with Foreign Minister Nkoana-Mashabane. The two sides had in-depth exchanges and reached broad agreement on issues including the Chinese president's visit to South Africa and attendance at the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting. The two sides agreed to take the Chinese president's participation in the meeting and visit to South Africa as an important opportunity to further deepen relations between China and South Africa and between China and Africa as a whole and strengthen cooperation among the BRICS countries.

To develop friendly and cooperative relations with African countries serves as a bedrock of China's foreign policy and is a long-term and firm strategic choice made by China. In recent years, thanks to the concerted efforts of China and Africa, major progress has been made in developing a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa. Cooperation has flourished in a wide range of areas and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is heading toward greater maturity.

During the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC held in Beijing last July, China announced new measures to be taken in the next three years to step up practical cooperation with Africa. South Africa is the co-chair of FOCAC. China is ready to work with African countries to faithfully follow up on the outcomes of the Ministerial Conference and work for win-win outcomes in China-Africa cooperation.

An outreach session with African leaders will also be held during the upcoming BRICS Leaders Meeting, where the Chinese president will have an opportunity to discuss with his counterparts ways to promote China-Africa cooperation and deepen the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa.

What is your view on China-Russia relations? What are your expectations for the future growth of this relationship?

Thanks to the personal attention and joint efforts of leaders of the two countries, China-Russia relations have maintained positive, sound and steady growth throughout recent years, and the two countries have established the comprehensive partnership of strategic coordination. The political ties between China and Russia are mature and solid. There are full-fledged mechanisms for high-level exchanges and cooperation in various fields between the two countries and they have produced a series of important results. China-Russia relations have entered a new stage in which they are each other's important development opportunities and priority cooperation partners.

President Putin has stated that the Russian side warmly welcomes and looks forward to the upcoming state visit by the Chinese president to Russia. The two sides are now making active preparations for this. We believe that with joint efforts, this visit will be a fresh and robust impetus to the future development of China-Russia comprehensive partnership of strategic coordination.

During the visit, I also had an extensive and in-depth exchange of views with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest. Under the new circumstances, China-Russia relations face broad growth prospects and important opportunities.

The two sides will implement the agreements reached by leaders of the two countries, keep the momentum of close high-level exchanges, continue to expand common ground and fully deepen practical and cultural cooperation. We will further enhance coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs and work for fresh progress in the China-Russia comprehensive partnership of strategic coordination. It will not only benefit the two countries and their people, but will also go a long way to promoting world peace and development.

In recent years, the BRICS mechanism has become an important platform for dialogue and cooperation among emerging markets. How does China see this mechanism?

One important purpose of my visit is to have discussions and coordination with relevant countries on strengthening BRICS cooperation and ensuring the success of the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting in particular. China supports South Africa in hosting the meeting and stands ready to work with South Africa, Russia and other BRICS countries to deepen dialogue and cooperation between the emerging markets.

In recent years, the BRICS countries have enjoyed rapid growth and become a significant force for addressing the international financial crisis, driving global growth, improving global economic governance and promoting greater diplomacy in international relations.

The BRICS countries hold common or similar positions in international affairs. They have engaged in diverse forms of effective dialogue and cooperation and set up a multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation framework guided by the leaders meetings and supported by cooperation in various fields. Such cooperation is consistent with the trend of our times that features peace, development, cooperation and benefit for all. It represents the progress of history.

China firmly supports BRICS cooperation and takes a constructive part in it. China holds the view that BRICS cooperation is open, transparent and inclusive with the goal of achieving benefits for all through cooperation and common development. China believes that a BRICS cooperation mechanism that keeps improving its structure and delivers more results is good for both the development of BRICS countries and world peace, stability and prosperity.

China Daily

(China Daily 02/25/2013 page11)

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